Veganism stirs a lot of heated discussions, as we’ve seen time and time again on social media and in real life. Why is veganism controversial, yet meat and dairy consumption are not? The reason is, that when vegans claim that avoiding animal products is a humane thing to do, they are implying that anyone who doesn’t agree with this statement, is lacking compassion.
The majority of individuals believe they are good people and say they love animals. But vegans believe that you cannot really love animals and eat them. In other words, vegans often point out that there is no moral difference between eating a cow or a dog.
Most non-vegans are offended as they would never eat a dog. Yet at the same time eat cows on a daily basis. And it makes them react defensively and angrily. This reaction usually comes from a place of feeling disrespected.
People are often sensitive when they believe they are being judged by others. And many vegans are open about why they follow this lifestyle: because they believe that it’s cruel to eat animals.
Veganism is also often associated with extremism or fanaticism. People following the meat-and-dairy-free diet are thought of as aggressive radicals or as hippies who are against the system.
Although it’s true that some vegans do go far with their activism, most simply want to raise awareness about this issue. The conversations about veganism are often controversial and cause angry reactions.
Why is veganism controversial?
Veganism is a dietary and lifestyle choice that eliminates all animal products from one’s diet and lifestyle. While it is a rapidly growing movement, veganism is still controversial in many circles. Here are some of the main reasons why:
There are many people who worry that a vegan diet is not healthy. They worry that vegans are not getting enough protein or essential nutrients. However, studies have shown that a vegan diet can be healthy for people of all ages if it is well-planned.
Another reason veganism is controversial is because of environmental concerns. Some people believe that a vegan diet is actually more harmful to the environment than a meat-based diet. They argue that the production of vegan foods requires more energy and resources than the production of meat.
Animal welfare concerns
Finally, some people are opposed to veganism because they believe it is cruel to animals. They argue that animals raised for food are often treated very poorly and that it is wrong to eat them.
The reason for controversy about veganism
Most people realize that there’s something wrong with the way animals are treated in factory farms and slaughterhouses but are not familiar with how meat, dairy, and eggs are produced. However, thinking about this is often too painful as we have to face the reality. We have been raised thinking it’s okay and normal to eat meat, dairy, and eggs.
Vegans think it’s not okay to cause unnecessary harm and suffering to other sentient creatures. And this is exactly why you’ve never seen videos showing what really happens behind the closed doors of factory farms and slaughterhouses. If we all had access to this footage most would probably rethink our meat and dairy consumption.
In order for these individuals to avoid feeling guilty about their behavior, they need to justify it somehow. We often hear myths about animal agriculture (e.g., “vegetables feel pain too”, “plants have feelings”, “vegan food is unhealthy”, “humans are omnivores”, etc.). This way, if someone believes all these things, they can continue to feel good about themselves while doing nothing to change.
These are two different world views, each one making sense only within its own frame of reference. Our human nature makes it very difficult for us to step out of our own beliefs, to understand a different one.
We tend to be biased towards our own side, as we have very little motivation to change our minds about something we’ve believed for a long time. Especially if it has become part of our identity.
These are just a few of the reasons why veganism is still controversial in many circles. However, as the movement continues to grow, these objections are likely to lessen over time.
Hi, I’m Petra and for most of my life, I was an omnivore. A vegan couple made me curious about veganism, so I did some research. What I found out about the animals, our planet, and the health benefits of a vegan diet made me go vegan overnight. It’s been 5 years now and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.